Yeovil Town boss Gary Johnson eyeing FA Cup 'miracle'

Saturday 03 Jan 2015
Yeovil take on Manchester United on Sunday 4 January

Gary Johnson says he is delighted to be taking on Manchester United in front of the television cameras on Sunday – and joked they only go where they sense an upset.

His Yeovil Town side were paired with the 11-time FA Cup winners in the Third Round draw in early December, and after navigating their way past a tricky replay with Accrington Stanley the manager now has his sights set on creating Cup history.

“If the cameras only go to the places where they think there might be an upset, well thanks very much,” he told

Yeovil Town v Man Utd

The FA Cup
Third Round Proper
3.30pm, Sunday 4 January 2015
Huish Park
Live on BT Sport
Winners will receive £67,500

“Of course we’d need a miracle to pull it off, but The FA Cup is The FA Cup, that’s the beauty of it.

“It’s 11 men against 11 men and on the day nobody knows what’s going to happen. Everybody thinks they know, but nobody knows for sure.”

Johnson, who returned to Huish Park for a second spell in charge in January 2012, also said he could not have wished for a better draw.

“I was over the moon when we were drawn against Manchester United,” he added. 

“I was in the house watching the draw with my wife and we both jumped up in the air and high-fived each other.

Gary Johnson celebrates with Joseph Edwards after the victory against Accrington

Johnson celebrates with Joseph Edwards after the win over Accrington

“Man United is the biggest draw in that Third Round, that’s what most people would be looking for – and now it’s our turn.

“We played Liverpool 10 years ago, and Arsenal 10 years before that. But Man United was the draw we all wanted so it was a moment of great excitement.”

Yeovil were forced to replay their Second Round tie against Accrington Stanley after Tom Aldred cancelled out Jordan Clarke’s opener for the The Glovers.

The replay was an equally tight affair, with the game goalless going into the final 10 minutes. 

But late goals from Simon Gillett and then Kieffer Moore broke Stanley hearts and secured the glamour tie for Yeovil.

Johnson described the game as one of the most important and pressurised in the club's history.

Huish Park bound. The superstars of Manchester United are heading to Somerset for The FA Cup Third Round.

The superstars of Man Utd will travel to Somerset for The FA Cup Third Round

However, the former Bristol City, Peterborough and Northampton boss says the pressure is now off as they prepare to welcome one of the biggest sides in the world.

He said: “In the Accrington game we had to win. We were under pressure.

“That was the biggest game ever in Yeovil’s history, because the prize was so big. We knew whoever won would be playing Man United.

“Of course you want to win and of course you want to go through. But it is a game nobody is expecting us to win so the pressure is off the boys.”

“It puts our players up against these superstars and into the living rooms of a lot of people”

Gary Johnson Yeovil Town manager

And what of the reward should they pull off what many would see as the shock of the century?

For Johnson – who in 2007 while in charge of Bristol City famously promised to bare his backside in the window of a local clothes store should goal-shy Liam Fontaine break his duck – the club have already got their reward regardless of the scoreline.

“I would have said that again, but Burtons categorically wouldn’t let me do that,” he joked.

“No, I think I’m too old to be doing things like that. We’ll just play the game, give it everything we have and hopefully we can come out on top.

“We’ll come out on top anyway, no matter what the result because it is Man United and it is Man United coming to Somerset.

“It puts our players up against these superstars and into the living rooms of a lot of people, which will be great for them and everyone else at the club.”

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer